Michigan Aquaponics is one of the College of Engineering’s newest student sponsored organizations at the University of Michigan. Founded in December 2014, the mission of MAqua is to explore the potential of aquaponics. It is our goal to improve upon this technology and employ it as a tool for addressing food and water scarcity, reducing harmful emissions, and eliminating the use of chemicals for food growth.

Aquaponics is a symbiotic system that merges the growth of produce and aquatic species in a recirculating water environment. The team is incredibly interdisciplinary, covering a broad range of interests from biology to business to engineering.

During the 2015 – 2016 academic year, many new partnerships were formed. Completion of our alpha prototype took place in December 2015 and can be found in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens (MBG). MBG is also hosting the beta prototype, a 500 gallon system. This system will be the first of several commercial-sized systems used to gain a better understanding of the optimal settings and shortcomings of current commercial systems.

      A team of seven students competed in the MPowered Makeathon in February where an entirely new and innovative system was designed and built in just under 36 hours. This system is the inspiration for collaborative work at Huron River High School and future work with smaller aquaponics systems. 

During the fall of 2016, members of Michigan Aquaponics worked to complete several projects including the Beta Prototype, the Ypsilanti High School system, and update the Alpha Prototype, now known as the Matthaei Display System. 

During the 2017-2018 academic year, our Technology and Ecology teams continued work on the Beta System. An Automated Testing Mechanism was developed for use in the Beta System so that our ecology team could remotely measure nutrient levels in the system. A partnership was secured with Growing Hope, and the design process for that system began. 


During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Growing Hope System was constructed and repairs were made to the High School System. MAqua provided guest lectures for several classes at UM Ann Arbor, and assisted a graduate-level course at UM Flint with system design. A partnership was secured with Dr. Ronald Eglash, with a focus on educational outreach. 

Want to learn more about aquaponics? Do you have a project that you are interested in collaborating with us on? Please contact maquaeboard@umich.edu for more information. Are you interested in joining our team? Contact us or look out for us at campus recruiting events like Festifall and Winterfest!

Listed below are the members of Michigan Aquaponics' Executive Board, but Michigan Aquaponics wouldn't be successful with the rest of our 30+ general body members! 

Juan Rodriguez
External President

Hi everyone! My name is Juan Rodriguez and I am the External President of Michigan Aquaponics. I am currently a senior within the Ross School of Business studying corporate strategy. At M-Aqua, I am the facilitator of all external communication and community outreach for our organization.  I plan to continue reaching out to Detroit community organizations to establish lasting and collaborative partnerships. Overall, my vision for aquaponics, from a business approach, is using these systems as a catalyst for both social entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Ryden Lewis
Vice President of Finance

Hey everyone! My name is Ryden Lewis and I am currently a senior studying biomedical engineering and computer science. As a founding member of Michigan Aquaponics, I was drawn to the technology by my interest in biological systems. My primary job in the organization is funding our many projects through grants, private funds, and hopefully our own future profits. 

Siddharth Madapoosi
Vice President of Business

Hi everyone!  My name is Siddharth Madapoosi and I’m currently a junior studying Microbiology. I joined Michigan Aquaponics in the winter of 2016 and was drawn to the technology in particular my interest in sustainability and freshwater ecology. My primary role in the organization is to lead all business-related work, including the creation and upkeep of business plans, collaborations, partnerships, and financial opportunities. 

Eli Goldin
Internal President

Hi I'm Eli! I'm a senior at Michigan studying Mechanical Engineering. I have been involved in Michigan Aquaponics since fall of 2014. My role as Internal President is to maintain the internal organization of Michigan Aquaponics and serve as the leader of the whole organization. I am passionate about sustainable design and believe aquaponics offers great possibilities in the improvement of sustainable practices within the agricultural industry, as well as addressing issues like food scarcity in communities close to campus and around the globe.

Eric Li
Vice President of Technology

Eric Li here. I'm currently a senior at Michigan studying Mechanical Engineering. To me, aquaponics came to me as the perfect amalgamation of two areas I am deeply passionate about, sustainability and mechanical design. Furthermore, I love being in and around water so aquaponics was truly meant for me! My primary job on Michigan Aquaponics is to lead the our members into creating more efficient and advanced aquaponics systems

Michael Allen
Vice President of Operations

Hi! My name is Michael Allen, and I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. I joined Michigan Aquaponics in the fall of 2014. What really drew me to MAqua was the mixture of sustainability and new technology. Aquaponics is truly a growing industry without a ceiling, and it is very exciting to be a part of a group that is on the forefront! My role in the organization is as the Vice President of Operations. What this entails is ensuring that the club is running smoothly, with a focus on membership and recruitment. Overall, I have loved my experience in Michigan Aquaponics, and am really excited to see how far we can go!

Haley Kalis
Vice President of Ecology

Hi everybody, my name is Haley Kalis and I’m a freshman studying environmental science, hoping to go into environmental education someday. The VP of Ecology is a new position created in fall of 2016 in order to accommodate more students whose interests may have been caught between the business and tech teams, and I feel so lucky to have the chance to spearhead it. As a person who is so passionate about sustainability, I was drawn to aquaponics  because I believe it offers an efficient and unprecedented solution to a wide variety of environmental issues such as food scarcity, water quality, and more.